December 16 eEdition

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Sports | Page 12 Brunswick School squash expectis its usual success.

News | Page 10 Abilis Gift Shop open for business this holiday season.

GIFT GUIDE! | Section B Fun gift ideas & day dreams for the holiday season.

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Bu i l d i ng a St rong Commun i t y Toge the r l De c embe r 16 , 2016

B y r a m

B a n k s v i l l e

C o s C o b

D o w n t o w n

G l e n v i l l e

O l d G r e e n w i c h

R i v e r s i d e

Saggese to Dance Lead in 'Nutcracker'

Our Neighborhoods DOWNTOWN S Friday, Dec. 16, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Greenwich Senior Center’s Annual Christmas Party held at the Old Greenwich Civic Center (90 Harding Rd.) Great food, giveaways, live music, dancing, raffle basket, plus celebrity guest servers! Sign up ahead for TAG transportation. Contact Suzanne Testani at 203-826-6721. S Monday, Dec. 19, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening held at Greenwich Library (101 W. Put nam Ave) Free blood pressure screenings conducted by a registered nurse from Greenwich Hospital. This event takes place every Monday afternoon from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the Health Information Center. No appointment necessary. S Wednesday, Dec. 21, 11 a.m. “A Humorous Guide to Better Photorgaphy” program with David Shafer at the First Presbyterian Chu rch (1 W. Put nam Ave) The Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich invites you to its meeting where David Shafer will be discussing how to take better photographs while regaling us with his humor. OLD GREENWICH S Saturday, Dec. 17, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 2016 Zumba Challenge benefitting St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital held at Old Greenw ich Civ ic Center (90 Harding Rd.) Stay in good shape doing Zumba for the kids of St. Jude’s Research Hospital, with a two-hour non-stop cardio- muscular workout. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. $20 per person. BACKCOUNTRY S Friday, Nov. 25 to Dec. 24, 8th Annua l Greenwich Rei ndeer Festival and Santa’s Village, held at “The North Pole on North Street” (347 North St.) The cherished town tradition continues at this expansive nursery where visitors can have their photo taken with Santa, meet the reindeer and also ride on the Winter Wonderland Carousel. Free parking. S Sunday, Dec. 18, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., 117th Audubon Christmas Bird Count held at Greenwich Audubon (613 Riversville Rd.) Join a team of volunteers to survey the winter bird populations in our 15-mile count circle. The annual compilation meeting and dinner will follow the count at 5 pm at the Audubon Center. Best to RSVP by Dec. 15 to Ted Gilman at 203-930-1353 or tgilman@audubon.org BYRAM S Saturday, Dec. 17, 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Cooking Demonstration: Holiday Cookies with Joanne Fuss and Joannie held at Byram Shubert Library (21 Mead Ave.) Learn how to bake sparkling and sprinkled cookies, just in time for the holidays COS COB S Friday, Dec. 16, 3:45 p.m. Annual Holiday Sing-Along held at Cos Cob Library (5 Sinawoy Rd.) Central Middle School’s Grand Central, a cappellasingers, led by Music Director Rebecca Lipschutz will lead us in a variety of holiday songs and will perform a few of their concert pieces. S Tuesday, Dec. 20, 10:30 to 11 a.m., Spanish Storytime held at Cos Cob Library (5 Sinawoy Rd.) Join us for our NEW spanish storytime with Miss Patricia! Little ones are welcome to drop in for a weekly half hour of music and songs, stories and movement. It’s time to learn some Spanish and have some fun! No registration necessary. Contents Community Calendar..................... 2/5 Editorial............................................ 6 Business.......................................... 11 On Faith....................................... 8-10 Sports............................................. 12 Gift Guide....................................... B4

By Rob Adams Sentinel Reporter

A G r e e nw i c h H i g h S c h o o l freshman will wow audiences this weekend in four performances of The Nutcracker at the Palace Theater in Stamford. Fourteen year-old Anna Saggese won the role of Clara in the ballet that has become synonymous with Christmas. Performances will be Saturday Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. An n a w i l l b e d a nc i ng i n t he Connecticut Ballet production of a ballet that dates back to 1892 in Russia; it originated from a tale by E.T.A. Hoffman and was set to music by Tchaikovsky. “I’m very excited, since this is my eighth year doing this,” Anna said. “I’m a little nervous, but it’s a great honor.” This is more than simply about just a young girl achieving a goal as a ballet dancer. This is about the juxtaposition of ballet against a family full of football nuts. Anna’s father, Rod Saggese, played

Greenwich High School 14-year-old student Anna Saggese will be playing the role of Clara in The Nutcracker at the Palace Theater in Stamford. (contributed photo)

See SAGGESE on Page 4

Police Warn of Rise in Distracted Driving

smartphone-calling, newer and more powerful threats to both driver and pedestrian safety. Wi t h a h a nd f u l o f r e p o r t e d d i s t r a c t ed d r i v i ng i nc i dent s i n Greenwich this winter, the Greenwich Police Department’s Lt. Kraig Gray is reminding the public to “ be in the moment” and alert at all times behind the wheel during this busy,

By Evan Triantafilidis Sentinel Reporter

I ncreasingly, drivers are becoming distracted from the road due to technology. Added to the usual distractions— changing the radio dial, eating breakfast sandwich, using a navigation system intended to get you to your destination on time—are tex t messaging and

Greenwich Police Department urges drivers and pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings during the busy holiday season. (Evan Triantafilidis photo)

See VEHICLES on Page 13

A second round of discussions on the $153 million proposed education budget drew comments from residents and the interim superintendent on the issue of staffing throughout the district. Concerns over special education and library media specialist position cuts had circulated earlier in the week, but Dr. Sal Corda, acting superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools, said at last Thursday’s Board of Education meeting that the board was not picking on any one element of the budget. “We are staffed so that we will be in compliance with what the law requires,” Dr. Corda said. “The fact that there is a reduction in special education staff is due only to examinations for efficiencies. We were able to determine that … to meet the needs of our special education youngsters, when we looked at what we are obligated to provide for next year, enabled us to make a reduction.” Dr. Corda stressed there will be no reduction of services provided to those who Schools Chief Addresses Budget, Staffing Concerns By Evan Triantafilidis Sentinel Reporter

Plethora of Toys for the Needy

Q & A with the Founder of the Sentinel By Anne W. Semmes Sentinel Columnist The U.S. Marines, along with Santa Claus, were at the Cos Cob Fire Station on Saturday for the annual Toys For Tots drive. The event started at 10 a.m., when Marines arrived in a seven- ton truck. In addition to Santa and the Marines, the Greenwich Fire Department, was there collecting toys, as was Greenwich Police. Even an antique fire engine was on the scene. (John Ferris Robben photo)

See BOE on Page 13

The Nice List

town—whether the news is about the mayor or taxes or high school football—there is no substitute for a local newspaper that is doing its job.” So the time is ripe to ask founder Beth Barhydt why she took up the challenge to create the Sentinel, how she’s found the experience, and what keeps her motivated to continue. Q: What inspired you to found the Sentinel? A: Honestly? Hope and some complaints. The complaints were from friends, family, people who are politically inclined, people at charity events and on their boards, even complaints from our own children about how the media behaves and functions. But few people wanted to jump in and get involved with fixing the problem. My typical response became, “start your own.”

T o start a newspaper in this digital age is a brave act. But that is what town resident Beth Barhydt did in 2015 with the weekly Greenwich Sentinel newspaper. This journalist has been writing for newspapers for over 30 years and the satisfaction is there every time I see a story in print. During those years I also worked in television news and documentaries. Television news is fleeting—documentaries t a ke age s to re a l i z e . I have found a newspaper article has an immediate effect and a longer life. Yes, the great newspapers of our country are struggling. But I agree with Warren Buffett that “Newspapers continue to reign supreme … in the delivery of local news. If you want to know what’s going on in your

One of our Sentinel's, Mairead Finn, came up with the idea of a Nice List (a note of gratitude to the people we love) to be published next Friday (only in the printed edition, not online). Steele and Emma will be on the Nice List in next week's paper. Send us a photo of your nice list too and a few words about why they are special by Sunday at 5 p.m. Go to www. GreenwichSentinel.com/nicelist just because it's fun!

See SENTINEL on Page 14

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